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Sunday, 12 November 2017

7 years on... Real world natural muscle gains


I've been training consistently for about 8 years now and have made tonnes of mistakes along the way. Mostly it was trying to gain too fast and just getting fat.

I have a naturally small frame and generally weighed about 9 stone my whole adult life - see my early post.

Once I got rid of the fat, I was down to 110 lb (7 stone 12!). Since then, I've gone to the gym more than 1000 times.

I just updated my bodyweight graph, which I've kept since ~2008:


As you can see, it's been a very mixed journey! I let myself get much too fat, hoping that I could build muscle faster that way. I got better as I went along and I think I've got it nailed these last couple of years.

If I take out all the "noise" of the fat periods, and just take my low (lean) points, I get this:


I've gained 20 lb (18%) of my starting (lean) weight in 7 years. 12 lb of that was in the first two years. The last 5 years has been much slower. 

If you're heavier / bigger than me, I expect a similar % would be expected - maybe more if you're larger framed / high testosterone.

e.g. a typical 11 stone lean guy might gain 17 lb in the first two years, putting him at about 12.5 stone, then another 10 lb over the next 5 years, ending up at about 13 stone.

Bear in mind also that, if you're like me, you have a typical 9-5 job to hold down, plus the usual stresses / interruptions that take their toll on diet / rest / sleep / training.

I think this represents a great example of what can be realistically achieved naturally. (I have been tempted with steroids, but decided never to take them as I want to see what I can achieve with the cards I've been dealt).

They say "TTIUWP", so I might get some progress pics up soon...

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Still haven't bought a house...


OK, so I'm still here busy squirrelling away more than 30% of my take-home pay and using a low-cost global index tracker (this is a change to previous posts, where I preferred separate regional indices, but the principle is the same) and a low-cost broker.

I've been looking at houses and calculating how much I would save by buying rather than renting. It turns out that it would roughly halve my costs (i.e. 100% of my rental payments are currently "wasted", whereas about 50% of the monthly costs of ownership would be "wasted" - i.e. interest repayment, property tax, property maintenance etc. using typical figures and current interest rates.)

Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

The thing that makes me worried, a little like the picture of this blog post, is that last point.

Interest rates.

I know that we're not living in a "normal" interest rate environment right now, but I have ~25 years to pay off a mortgage. It's very likely (guaranteed?) that those repayments are going to go up, as pointed out in a recent article.

What to do?

For the moment, I'm happy to wait and see what happens. My overriding hunch is that the piper will need to be paid (i.e. we've been living beyond our means in the developed world since at least the 80s and those debts will have to paid back), which means that interest rates will go up (or, similarly, that inflation will go up, but wages won't) and that demographics will kick in (alluded to in an earlier post).

Only the benefit of hindsight will tell...